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Nine rebels surrender to government troops in Bicol

By Marlon Atun

Nine members of New People's Army (NPA) have surrendered to government troops in Sorsogon on Sunday, Dec. 26. They were welcomed by military authorities at the headquarters of the 31st Infantry Batallion (31IB) in Barangay Rangas, Juban, Sorsogon.

In a statement, Lt. Col. Marlon Mojica, 31IB commander, said the nine belonged to the NPA operating in Sorsogon and Albay and one of them is reportedly a member of the white area committee operating in Bicol region.

During the simple surrender ceremony, they turned over to the military two low-powered firearms, an anti-personnel mine, an Epson printer used to produce their propaganda materials, and voluminous subversive documents.

Mojica said that their surrender can be attributed to the relentless operations of the military against the communist rebels and the combined efforts and services of government’s security partners and stakeholders.

Since January 2021, a total of 31 NPA combatants have already surrendered to the 31IB whose latest accomplishments have been commended by Col. Aldwine I. Almase, commander of the 903rd Infantry Brigade.

The rebel returnees, according to Almase, were lucky for they would be beneficiaries also of the Grace Evangelical Team International, a non-governmental organization that helps the brigade in addressing the needs of former rebels. An immediate cash assistance from the 31st IB was given to the returnees. This was apart from all the benefits that they will receive from the government through the Comprehensive Local Integration Program or ECLIP.

Almase encouraged the remaining NPA rebels in the provinces of Sorsogon, Albay and Masbate to lay down their arms and embrace the call for peace of the government before it's too late, like what happened to the two members of NPA who died in a clash with soldiers.

He also stressed that the 903rd will never cease from doing its mandate until the the three provinces are free from any form of threat from the NPA.

To recall, on Oct. 6-7, 2021, a total of 35 rebels surrendered to the 903rd Brigade of the Philippine Army in Bicol region. (PIA5 Sorsogon)


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